Import of thermal coal in the country to be completely stopped by 2024-2025

Oct 14: Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Shri Pralhad Joshi said that, the mineral and mining sectors, following agriculture and industrial sectors, provide maximum employment opportunities, and thus, for India to be recognized as a developed country by 2047, the role of these two sectors is important. While addressing MINCON 2022 – a Conference on Mines, Minerals and Metals in Nagpur today, he said that Government’s target is to produce 900 million tonnes of coal in the current year and 163 mines will be auctioned. He added that the Union Government has faith in the federal system and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is insisting that most of the powers should be conferred upon the states.

Maharashtra State Mining Corporation (MSMC) and Vidarbha Economic Development Council have jointly organized this conference at Nagpur. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari presided over this conference. Maharashtra State Forest and Environment Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Maharashtra Government Minerals Minister Dadaji Bhuse, Principal Secretary of Commerce Department Harshdeep Kamble, President of the Maharashtra Mining Corporation Ashish Jaiswal, President of the Vidarbha Economic Development Council Devendra Parikh also attended this conference.

Shri Joshi further informed that the value of mineral wealth in India was Rs 1.9 lakh crore in 2021-22. The Government is committed to its appropriate utilization and distribution, he added. He said that the Vidarbha region’s role will remain important in developing India as a 5 trillion dollar economy. He further said that the Union government will always extend complete support for new ideas and new research, and also provide necessary incentives.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the foundation of the Vidarbha region’s development is based on mining and forest, and only mining-based industries can accelerate the progress of the Vidarbha region. He said that the Vidarbha region has 75% of mineral and 80% of the forest resources of Maharashtra and proper utilization of these will increase the Vidarbha region’s share in the energy sector. He further said that more investment in water, energy and communication is necessary to make India self-sufficient along with a 5 trillion dollar economy. Stating that coal production has increased due to the radical changes made by the Central Government in the mining sector, Shri Gadkari said that India’s energy needs are increasing and more coal will be needed in the future. Only Vidarbha region can fulfill this need, he added.

Following the Centre, the State Governments should also save time by using modern working systems, Nitin Gadkari said. He urged the state governments to provide the required licenses for these sectors at the earliest with emphasis on time planning and transparency. These sectors should reduce the country’s urea import of Rs. 60 thousand crores by producing ammonium nitrate and urea from coal. He further suggested that these sectors should now formulate new policies to reduce fuel imports of Rs 17 lakh crore. He said that the steps have to be taken now for the closed mines and if the mine is not economically viable, the policies will have to be relaxed.

Shri Gadkari also said that the country needs 6 million tonnes of manganese and Vidarbha region should take the initiative to fulfill it. He also suggested that the mining industry and investors should come together to find a solution for a royalty based on the market price of coal. The Union Road Transport and Highways Minister said that transparency, timely functioning and corruption-free processes are very much necessary for the mining sector, and assured that he will strive for proper coordination and communication between the concerned ministers and officials of all departments for the new coal mining in the Vidarbha region.

Officials of various government organizations and investors in the mining and mineral sector are participating in this conference organized between October 14-16, 2022.

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